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Artists' donation diverted for other charity: RCSC


15:28, May 01, 2013

BEIJING, May 1 (Xinhua) -- The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) has admitted that a donation it received from over 100 artists was not used as the donors had designated.

However, it said the donation of 84.72 million yuan (13.62 million U.S. dollars) was spent on another charity project, which was "generally in accordance with the donors' will."

The RCSC on Tuesday published a statement on its website, specifying that the sum was diverted for a "philanthropic home" project, which has financed 242 urban and rural neighborhood communities to promote community management and improve the communities' infrastructure, their capabilities in disaster prevention and reduction as well as their efforts in public health.

The donation was collected in a charity auction on May 29, 2008, days after the devastating 8.0-magnitude Wenchuan quake in southwest China's Sichuan Province, which has left about 87,000 people dead or missing.

However, a post on Twitter-style website Sina Weibo by an artist last month alleged that the auction earnings given as quake donation to the charity had never been received by the specific local government the donors had designated but had simply "disappeared."

According to the RCSC statement, a total of 103 artworks were sold at the auction, and the donors had expressed that they wanted the money to be used in quake reconstruction projects under their own arrangements.

However, efforts to carry out their original intentions failed up to the conclusion of the reconstruction programs, the statement said.

The RCSC published the allocation of the total donation, with the 242 communities each getting 350,000 yuan in average.

The project has proved successful, but the RCSC realizes that it failed to maintain sound communication with the donors, the statement said, adding that it apologizes for the failure in this regard.

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